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Home solar basics

Alberta is one of the sunniest provinces in the country, making solar ​a practical energy option for many home and business owners.​​​​​​​​


Home solar power systems

The sun is a remarkable source of renewable energy. Solar power is produced when radiant light or heat from the sun is captured and used to provide electricity or heat for homes and businesses. Turning the sun’s energy into power can be done in several ways. For generating electricity, the most-used technology is photovoltaic (PV) cells or solar cells.

Solar cells held together within a frame and under protective glass create a solar module (often referred to as a solar panel). When several solar modules are connected, it is called a solar array.

Solar arrays are usually installed where they will receive the most direct sunlight, typically on the roof of a home or an unobstructed area on the ground. Shadows cast from trees, nearby homes and buildings or other structures can impact the effectiveness of a solar array, as can the angle or pitch at which modules are installed.

When a home solar array generates power, it is called micro-generation. Micro-​generation also includes how a household is credited for excess solar power that is sent back to the grid.


Components of home solar power systems

In its simplest form, a home solar power system includes a solar array, inverter and bi-directional meter. These components help capture the sun’s power, convert it into electricity for the home and measure how much energy is travelling to and from the grid.

Learn about the components of solar ​​

Home solar basics Q&A

  • What makes a home a good solar candidate?

    Before you get started with solar for your home, here are some important factors to consider:

    • You must own your own home
    • Your home must be a single detached home or a semi-attached home
    • Your roof should be in good repair
    • ​South or west-facing roofs are ideal ​​​

  • What is micro-generation?

    ​Micro-​generation refers to small-scale energy generation by households, small businesses and communities, such as solar modules installed on a home’s roof to produce power. ​​

  • How can solar help the environment?

    ​​​​​​​By using a renewable source of electricity like solar for even a portion of what you consume, you’re decreasing the amount of power that needs to come from non-renewable sources of generation.​​​

    If you’re ready to take the first step towards switching your home to solar, ​contact us to learn more.

    If you find you’re not a candidate for solar but want to support renewable energy, you can still offset your energy usage by adding Green to your ENMAX Energy plan. ​​​Learn more

Ready to add solar to your home?

The below resources can help if you’re ready to take the next step.

Am I a candidate
for solar?

Review our FAQs

Check available solar grants and
​ inc​​entives

Looking for ways to help offset the cost of adding solar to your home?​

See available solar grants

Connect with a verified solar provider

Check the Alberta solar directory for a solar provider in your area that meets your needs.

Visit SolarAlberta.ca​​​​​​

Solar contacts

General solar system, micro-generation credit and billing questions:

Phone: 310-2010 or 1-877-571-7111 (Outside Alberta)

Current ENMAX solar lease customers:


ENMAX Power micro-​generation applications:


ENMAX Power meter exchanges or general metering inquiries:


For solar installers looking to work with ENMAX Power, visit our Distributed Generation page​​​​

Customers are free to purchase natural gas services or electricity services from a retailer of their choice. For a list of retailers, visit ucahelps.alberta.ca or call 310-4822 (toll free in Alberta).